Yes Virginia, it is possible to save on fresh foods and organic products. For a long time now, if you wanted fresh products or if you purchased primarily organic ingredients then you were making a choice to pay more. It was that simple. Want organic? Be prepared to pay.

This is still somewhat the case, but I can tell you after two years of heavy couponing, things are getting better for those of you who focus on whole foods (or Whole Foods) and who want organic products. We’ll start there.

Here are my tips for saving on organic:

  • Buy in bulk – Lately, we’ve been trying to branch out and eat a little better, and that includes buying more organic, whole foods. I buy almost all of our grains in bulk now and I can tell you from experience that buying our cous cous from the bulk bins at our Wegmans is way cheaper per pound than buying those prepackaged boxes of cous cous with seasoning. It honestly doesn’t take much to season it myself and at least then I know what’s going in the recipe. (We also buy Bulgar wheat, farro, lentils, etc. The only one I don’t buy anymore is quinoa – I’m allergic.)
  • Keep an eye out for coupons – OK, we’ve talked a lot about coupons, and while there are a lot of coupons in this world, not many are for organic products…but that’s slowly changing! Both of the chain grocery stores I usually shop at put out a free monthly magazine in their organic section. It’s full of both healthy eating ideas, but also how to stretch your dollar when preparing organic foods, and the best part – coupons! Coupons solely for organic products! As you walk the aisles, look for coupons on displays and see if your store offers a magazine like the one I mention above.
Keep in mind though, that while things are changing, you’re still accepting a higher price by purchasing organic. That’s not a bad thing, it just means you’ll need to budget accordingly.
Alright let’s talk about saving at Whole Foods…or Whole Paycheck as many of my friends call it. Like it or not Whole Foods is expensive, but there are ways to increase your savings. Did you know that they have printable coupons on their website? They do! Click HERE for their printable coupons.
You should also pick up a copy of their magazine The Whole Deal. (I’m not sure if it’s free, so check to be sure. If someone knows, let me know and I’ll update the post.) This is the description from their website:

The Whole Deal value guide has a bounty of savings so you can afford to fall in love with organics this fall. It’s packed with more than $50 in coupons, 18 Sure Deals, 8 new budget-friendly recipes, a daily meal planner and plenty of seasonal money-saving tips.
Last but not least, even if you aren’t buying organic, you probably are buying fresh foods like fruits and vegetables. Produce can get downright expensive, but you can still save! Here are some tips:
  • Buy produce in season. I can’t tell you what “in season” means for you specifically because we all have different items available at different times, but here’s a hint – most produce isn’t “in season” in the dead of winter. If you’re buying strawberries in December, it’s probably being shipped from another country or it’s been engineered to grow year round.  
  • To check what’s in season when in your area check with your local farmer’s market. Our local market has a list on their website. 
  • Be aware that produce prices are regional. The farther something has to travel from farm to store, the more expensive it will be – even in season. For example: I grew up in Florida and lived on citrus fruits because it was super cheap. Now, I live in the north. Citrus prices here are crazy, y’all. On the flip side, I now live in the land of corn and when it’s in season I can get it dirt cheap. For the best bargains, stick to what grows in your area or nearby. 
  • Participate in a CSA (consumer supported agriculture) program in your area. The basic gist of a CSA is that you buy shares up front from a local farmer and receive boxes of in season produce all season long. It’s often much cheaper than in the grocery store. You can find out more about CSAs HERE.
So, you bought in season produce and saved big but you want fresh tasting produce all year round, right? Great! It’s super easy, but it does take a little bit of work. First, when you can score a deal, remember to buy in bulk then store it by flash freezing it! You can find my tutorial on how to flash freeze at home HERE. (I’ve had some questions regarding flash freezing since I wrote that post, so I’m working on a follow up post that will be ready in the next couple of weeks so keep an eye out.)
Saving on fresh produce and organic products can be done. Do you have any tips of your own? Let me know! 

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